COUNTDOWN EVENTS Blog

This Week's #FF Ishra Sharif of IshraSharif.com



Name: Ishra Sharif
Occupation(s): Marketing at Fidelity Denim. Freelance Fashion Writer.
Who is your role model: I admire a bunch of different people from all walks of life for various reasons whether it’s an influential leader, colleague or a friend. I have respect for those who are super successful but don’t care for the limelight or just have amazing stories to tell. Like this industry friend who used to work for Universal and would be the manager for huge artists when they were in town touring but then left to travel the world and literally covered every part of the globe. Or Barb Atkin, the VP of Fashion Direction at Holts who actually responds to emails super quickly despite being at the helm of Canada’s leading luxury retailer. And Jay Z.
What do you like most about your job: Bringing ideas come to life, being a part of growing a successful premium denim brand, seeing fashion way before it hit stores, having face time with industry leaders and having access to lots of denim and friends who rep great shoe lines doesn’t hurt my closet either.
Daily ritual: Rise, grind, repeat. Gossip Girl and spinning can sometimes be added into that mix. And being in a different city when lucky enough to travel for work — it’s always nice to have a change of scenery.
The most rewarding part of my job is: Knowing that what I have wanted to do from the get-go at a young age is exactly what I am doing now is pretty great — coupling creativity with strategy that brings in results and continuing to pursue writing in a changing media landscape. I can’t do something I don’t love or doesn’t make me happy.


What has been your biggest strength that’s helped you succeed in your industry? Proving myself by working hard, choosing to grow and being business smart. It takes more than a single strength to get ahead in this industry, especially in a tricky market like Vancouver — it is not always as fun as it looks — but learning from all the things that come your way, mistakes made, be kind and always keep my head on the ground. Understanding how all the different channels of fashion affect one another and not just what you specialize in exactly is really important.
Memorable celebrity encounter/interview: Interviewing Lady Gaga on camera during her early Just Dance/Love Game era. Scary and exciting! The interview went on to become the 2nd most viewed on YouTube on day of posting in Canada, clips aired on radio stations in the States, it was reblogged on many gossip sites and MTV/VH1 even reached out to buy parts of the interview.
Favourite quote: “Two ears, one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.” A friend said that to me and it’s a good one to remember. Also, “Good clothes open all doors” ever since I saw it on the wall at the old Ishara location in Oakridge Centre.
Describe your personal style: Edgy, effortless. I rarely do pink, I love leather. I’m trend-driven but believe in classic staples. I’m can be a tshirt and jeans girl but it’s always jeans paired with a dope t-shirt by Morphine Generation or Religion or just a plain white $5 Forever 21 v-neck or swapped out jeans for a skirt if I have to dress up more. I don’t buy shoes that are boring ever (with the exception of Chucks, Keds, combat boots and a couple pairs of heels). My style changes depending on my mood but I try to have on one item that stands out in some way.
Dream vacation spot? Many…Bora Bora, Ibiza, Greece. Beaches get me.


What is your favourite thing to take pictures of? Skulls, black hearts, shoes, anything with words shown in a cool way and pretty things in general. That’s the overall theme of my Instagram account.
What has been your favourite event to attend? The Room Opening at The Bay was done really well for a local event and a couple shows at Toronto Fashion Week. NYFW is still on the to-do list and would probably become the favorite.
Favourite Restaurant: In the past year: STK in Vegas, Beauty & Essex in NYC, Scarpetta in Toronto, L’Original in Old Montreal while traveling and HousexGuest, Local or Italian Kitchen while here at home.
What is your biggest indulgence? I feel like the mountain of whip I get on my Starbucks is a pretty big indulgence.
If there was more time in the day you would: Possibly learn to cook properly. That would mean I have to go shopping for kitchen stuff…
Favourite social network: It’s used to be Twitter but Instagram is the current fave — you can share creatively in a vague manner. Sometimes, mystery is good.

Photographs provided by Ishra Sharif


Favourite Blog: WhoWhatWear.com and Complex.com. I don’t check personal style blog sites on a regular basis really but click through links off Twitter, Facebook & Instagram of blogs I follow when something piques my interest.
Where do you go for good ideas? A friend’s house where we chill or go for a walk or run talking about music, fashion, business, life in general and things that inspire us…and the ideas flow. At work, putting brainstorming thoughts on a white board then stand back to analyze with my bosses or colleagues — bounce different ideas usually leads to one really good idea.
Last song you downloaded: Goldie – ASAP Rocky
What is the most challenging thing you have ever done? Stand up for myself more than once both in personal and professional situations and having to turn down work opportunities because I was already committed.
What are you obsessed with right now? I’m always obsessed with mens clothing. Both shopping for it and wearing a few things out there like mens cardigans – they just fall so much better.
Any other comments/thoughts you’d like to add: (ie. new business features you are offering now) I’m working on getting my website up which will be portfolio-based and a couple fun things IshraSharif.com Coming soon!


Thank you Ishra for being our Friday Follow of the week, we look forward to seeing your upcoming website. To stay connected to Ishra and view her upcoming website be sure to follow her on Twitter @IshraSharif and us @CountDownEvents to see other fabulous FFs to come!

Beautiful Vancouver Wedding by CountDown Events Planning & Design | Part II as seen in Real Weddings Magazine



We have the best clients! We really do! And this wedding is no exception we love Kathryn & David! We were going to post all of the images from the wedding but after spending time oohing and awwwwing over the photos, we've come to the decision that we need yet another part to this wedding on the blog! So today we are only featuring some of the details (and when we say some we mean MANY). Details are often what sets each wedding apart from another.

Today's article is featuring our latest press feature "One Perfect Day" as seen in Real Weddings Magazine . Photography by Robin O'Neill .

Enjoy! ~from CountDown Events Planning & Design. xoxo Soha Lavin

We love designing a special signature drink for guests to enjoy during cocktails!

Working with the venue's colour palettes we designed the details to add bright and colourful elements to the reception environment.

The flowers were meant to be playful and fun! Guests couldn't stop talking about them!

The ceremony overlooking the water was a mix of sophistication and west-coast ease!

There was no shortage of yummy treats at this wedding! So we found pretty ways to display everything accordingly.

The wedding feature in Real Weddings Magazine

Beautiful Vancouver Wedding by CountDown Events Planning & Design | Part I as seen in Real Weddings Magazine



We have a soft spot for gorgeous flowers! That is evident in most of our designs,incorporating details with flowers wherever we can. Today's article is featuring the latest wedding featured in Real Weddings Magazine . A lovely story (If you haven't picked up an issue you definitely should) The bride and groom had impeccable modern taste with a flair for the natural elements. We say this over and over but we really are lucky to work with such amazing clients! So without further delay today's images captured the beautiful floral details as they were being prepared (early in the morning) by Granville Island Florist artisans; the bride had asked the photographer Robin O'Neill to start the day earlier at the shop capturing the behind-the-scenes elements of the making of her wedding flowers! That's how excited she was about her gorgeous flowers (see what we mean!).

There are MANY images but today we are going to start with the early morning prep of the flowers and on Wednesday we will unveil the entire wedding for you to enjoy! Happy Monday from all of us flower lovers at CountDown Events Planning & Design. xoxo Soha Lavin

The work shop

Bouquet Prep

This Week's #FF Lisa Wong of Solo Lisa



Name: Lisa Wong

Occupation(s): Technical writer at a software company, occasional freelance contributor to various publications, blogger behind SolosLisa.com

Who is your role model: My mother because she embodies style, intelligence, and good common sense.

What do you like most about your job: I get to wear many different hats, but the common thread running through them all is the opportunity to write and to work with inspiring individuals.

Daily ritual: I start the day by checking my email over a big cup of coffee.

The most rewarding part of my job is: Being able to write!

What has been your biggest strength that’s helped you succeed in your industry? I’m very detail-oriented. Blogging and writing require great attention to detail, like making sure the prices and names of products mentioned in your blog posts are accurate, you have no typos or grammatical errors in your writing, hyperlinks work, etc.


Memorable celebrity encounter/interview: I got to interview Stuart Weitzman on my blog, which was a huge highlight. Other memorable encounters with fashion luminaries: FLARE editor-in-chief Lisa Tant, Derek Blasberg, Mary Katrantzou, Jason Wu, Joseph Mimran, and Jeanne Beker.
Favourite quote: “Yet all experience is an arch where through Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades For ever and for ever when I move.” - ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Describe your personal style: Classic with a twist.
Dream vacation spot? Right now, it’s a toss-up between Argentina and Scotland.
What is your favourite thing to take pictures of? Beautiful things that I see.
What has been your favourite event to attend? Probably the Joe Fresh Granville store grand opening party. It was fun and unpretentious, very much in the spirit of the brand. The Room at The Hudson’s Bay Vancouver also puts on great events.


Favourite Restaurant: Too many to name! I like Santouka for ramen, Campagnolo Roma for pizza, Kadoya for sushi, and Roundel Cafe in Hastings Sunrise for brunch.
What is your biggest indulgence? Handbags.
If there was more time in the day you would: Actually sleep the 8+ hours that experts recommend.
Favourite social network: It’s a tie between Twitter and Facebook.
Favourite Blog: All the ones in my Google Reader!
Where do you go for good ideas? Books, blogs, magazines, Pinterest, movies...the world offers no shortage of inspiration.
Last song you downloaded: I’ve taken to making private Youtube playlists for music I want to listen to while working, so I haven’t downloaded a song in a while. The last song I was obsessed with and would listen to on repeat was ‘Big Black Car’ by Gregory Alan Isakov.


Photographs provided by Lisa Wong


What is the most challenging thing you have ever done? Getting up the nerve to pitch to FLARE magazine for the first time. My hands literally shook as I typed out that first pitch and hit Send.
What are you obsessed with right now? Corgis (because they’re so cute) and home decor (because my boyfriend and I just bought a condo).
Any other comments/thoughts you’d like to add: (ie. new business features you are offering now) I have an article in the June issue of FLARE which is on news stands now, so please pick up a copy!


We’d like to thank Lisa for being our #FF this week and we look forward to reading her article in new issue of FLARE magazine. If you would like to connect with Lisa Wong be sure to follow her on Twitter @SoloLisa and follow us on Twitter @CountDownEvents to see next week’s #FF.

In the news! Month of May for CountDown Events Planning & Design


Style Me Pretty


Today CountDown Events is saying THANK YOU for the fabulous coverage of two of our weddings we worked so hard to produce. As planners we are often so busy making sure everything runs perfectly smooth that we don’t have time to really enjoy and take in the weddings (something we always insist on with our clients). While enjoying a cup of tea, it was so fulfilling to peruse the gorgeous images both in print in the latest Real Weddings Magazine and online featured on the most popular American wedding site Style Me Pretty! In the coming weeks we will be able to share the images with you on the blog but for now a very happy THANK YOU!
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